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Ultra-Conservative Christian Indiana Lawmaker Pushes Anti-Gay ‘License To Discriminate’ Bill



Indiana’s Scott Schneider is pushing a religious “license to discriminate” bill, but it’s Schneider’s desire to impose his extremist views that are the real problem.

Indiana Republican state senator Scott Schneider is pushing an anti-gay bill cloaked as “religious liberty” legislation. Even proponents of these so-called religious freedom bills admit they rise from the ashes of same-sex marriage bans, and that’s exactly what’s happening in Indiana right now.

State Senator Scott Schneider is just the latest Republican to propose an anti-gay license to discriminate bill. These bills force the government to step aside if a person’s “deeply-held religious beliefs” mandate they act, or not act, in a certain manner. 

“The freedom of conscience bill is really about limiting government’s ability to squelch freedom of religion, conscience or speech,” Micah Clark, director of the Indiana chapter of the anti-gay hate group American Family Association, told the Indy Star.

But that’s not really what they’re about.

Some religious liberty bills can be used by pharmacists to refuse to dispense needed, prescribed contraceptive medications. Or they can be used by state employees to refuse to officiate at same-sex weddings, or even to refuse to issue a license to wed to a same-sex couple.

They also can be used by private businesses to refuse to serve gay people.

Advocates of these bills often cite examples of Christian bakers or florists who refused to do business with same-sex couples as the reason these bills are needed. These so-called Christians claim the Bible mandates they not bake cakes or arrange flowers for a same-sex wedding.

But the U.S. Supreme Court in 1968 ruled unanimously that the Bible cannot be used to discriminate against Black people, so why can it be used to discriminate against gay people?

Sen. Schneider thinks it can.

But Senator Schneider, unbeknownst to most people, has an extremist background that one might think colors his legislation.

For starters, his mother is the president of the Indiana chapter of the Eagle Forum, a nationwide organization that has made statements that are anti-gay, anti-immigrant, racist, and misogynistic. It’s not surprising then that Sen. Schneider spoke at an Eagle Forum event last year, or that the Eagle Forum endorsed him and pushed his candidacy on social media.

Sen. Schneider’s own beliefs are extreme and antiquated.

Here he is with the virulently anti-gay Indiana Family Institute:

He pushed a bill that would require Indiana students to be taught that creationism has the same scientific validity as evolution.

An ardent advocate of school vouchers and privatization of education, Schneider is against Common Core. He also supported Richard Mourdock, the Republican U.S. Senate candidate who in 2012 claimed that children conceived in rape are “God intended.”

Here’s Sen. Schneider with the anti-choice extremist Catholic Father Frank Pavone:

In 2012 Schneider spoke at a Stand Up for Religious Freedom protest organized by Indianapolis Right to Life.

The Indy Star reports that “Schneider’s bill is likely to get serious consideration in the new General Assembly, which is more conservative than any in recent memory. Several moderate Republicans were knocked off by more conservative candidates in GOP primaries, and Republicans increased the size of their super-majorities in both chambers during the November general election.”


Image of Sen. Schneider via Indiana Senate Republicans

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‘Taking Us All for Fools’: Critics Decimate Greg Abbott’s Claims and Defense of His Actions in Wake of School Shooting



Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott in a press conference that left reporters frustrated defended his actions and insisted his earlier praise for law enforcement’s widely criticized response to the Uvalde school massacre was the result of being “misled.”

“I am livid about what happened,” Abbott declared, blaming others for his “recitation of what people in that room told me.”

Critics aren’t buying his claims.

Abbott, who’s in the middle of a heated re-election campaign, appeared extremely defensive when reporters asked him questions.

“Let’s be clear about one thing. None of the laws I signed this past session had any intersection with this crime at all,” Abbott told reporters when asked if he would call the legislature back for a special session, as The Texas Tribune’s Sewell Chan noted.

“No law that I signed allowed him to get a gun,” Abbott insisted.

“The answers fell pretty flat,” opined MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace, who noted the press event lasted just 36 minutes, less time than the police officers “stood outside and did nothing,” which was 47 minutes.

Abbott ended the press conference with many reporters almost begging him to take more questions. As the governor got up and left one frustrated reporter was caught on a hot mic saying “unbelievable.”

Chan, who is the editor in chief of the Tribune, added on Twitter: “Abbott rejects background checks as a simplistic and ineffective fix. Wouldn’t have prevented Sutherland Springs and Santa Fe shootings, he says. Tries to turn focus to broken mental health system.”

Former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi on MSNBC delivered a strong rebuke to Governor Abbott’s remarks.

“No amount of free flights, no amount of free caskets, no amount of mental health counseling is going to bring back any one of those murdered children,” Figliuzzi said, referring to Abbott’s announcement an anonymous donor is putting up  $175,000 for funeral expenses of those who were murdered in the shooting and said the state will pay for mental health treatment.

Abbott also insisted that since Texas became a state it’s been legal for 18-year-olds to buy long guns.

Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was murdered in the Parkland school shooting, blasted Abbott:

And long guns of today, as Figliuzzi noted, are often semi-automatic “killing machines.”

“The governor seems completely unable to understand that he can easily make a distinction when you’re talking about whether an 18-year-old should buy an assault rifle or not. And all he cares about is a century of history in Texas on long guns. We didn’t have the AR-15 style assault weapons back then.  He can easily make a distinction and say, ‘you can go hunting, here are the rifles you can do, you can buy, you can possess – and here’s an assault-style rifle.'”

“If he thinks that people are stupid and unable to understand that there is a clear distinction between a killing machine and a hunting rifle, that he’s taking us all for fools.”


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‘I Apologize for Interrupting Your Press Conference’: Tearful Texas Democrat Urges Greg Abbott to ‘Do Something’ on Guns



The Texas Democratic State Senator who represents Uvalde stood up during Greg Abbott’s Friday afternoon press conference and almost begged the Republican Governor to “do something” about gun violence after Tuesday’s massacre at Robb Elementary School that took 21 lives.

Abbott was trying to place the blame for the school shooting on mental health despite the gunman having no documented issues, and told attendees, “we’re focusing our attention on the wrong thing.”

That was not good enough for Democratic State Senator Roland Gutierrez, who politely introduced himself and said, “I’m not making a political speech.”

“My colleagues are asking for a special session, you’re getting a letter tomorrow,” from the Senate Democratic Caucus.

“We’ve asked for gun control changes – I’m asking you now, bring us back in three weeks.”

Gutierrez grew emotional, sounding as if he was choking up, and added, “I apologize for interrupting your press conference about the needs of this community. I’ve been here for three days with all of these elected officials – this county judge has been working his ass off,” he continued.

“I don’t know how to express the loss of the families that I’ve talked to,” he added.

“You have to do something, man,” Gutierrez said, all but begging the governor to take action, and saying his “own colleagues are calling me and telling me this is enough.”


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Watch: Right Wing Host at NRA Convention Likens 18 Year Olds Buying Guns to 3rd Graders Deciding Gender



A host from a right-wing streaming service covering the NRA convention in Houston decided to compare conservatives’ growing active opposition to the rights and existence of transgender people, to the majority of Americans demanding expanded gun control legislation.

“We are being told by the left that a third-grader has the knowledge to determine if they were born a boy or they were born a girl, whether or not they want to stay that gender that they were born with,” said Brian Glenn, Right Side Broadcasting’s director of programming and correspondent.

“And if we feel like at a third grade you can make decisions on your gender, then I think by the time you’re 18 you should have enough maturity – assuming you’re not a complete psychopath – to buy a handgun and exercise your Second Amendment.”

Of course, that hypothetical third-grader is harming exactly no one and later can reverse that decision if they choose, which the vast majority do not.

That hypothetical 18-year old, or, in the case of this week’s horrific tragedy, an actual 18-year old, buying two AR-15 style assault weapons and hundreds of rounds of ammunition within three days of their 18th birthday, gunning down 21 people including 19 elementary school children, cannot reverse any of those decisions.



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